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Imagine owning your own private island. Sounds great, right? But why stop at an island when you could afford to buy an entire U.S. city?
That’s the reality of the enormity of wealth of billionaires like Bill Gates, according to online real estate brokerage firm Redfin. With a net worth of $78.8 billion (according to Forbes‘ most recent calculation), Gates has enough money to single-handedly purchase every single home in the city of Boston.
“That’s 114,212 single-family homes, condos and townhouses, at a total purchase price of $76.6 billion,” Redfin said. Do the math. Even after purchasing Boston, Gates would still be worth $2.2 billion. Wow.
Redfin used Forbes’ billionaire data and its own housing cost information to compile its list.
If Gates, the richest man in the world, can purchase Boston on his own, imagine the buying power of the Walton family, founders of Walmart. With their amassed wealth ($154.8 billion), they could buy either Seattle, Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, or Washington, D.C. – you get the picture.
So, what billionaire could buy your city? Click here for a map of U.S. cities and the billionaires who could hypothetically purchase them. And click here for a full list of Redfin’s billionaire/city matches.
We’ve highlighted a handful of billionaires, their wealth, and the cities they could purchase below:
- Walton family, $154.8 billion, Seattle.
- Koch brothers, $86 billion, Atlanta.
- Warren Buffett, $63.5 billion, Charlotte, N.C.
- Mark Zuckerberg, $27.7 billion, St. Paul, Minn.
- Ralph Lauren, $7.1 billion, Worcester, Mass.
- Oprah Winfrey, $2.9 billion, Mokena, Ill.
“In this fictional real estate investment, the 30 billionaires on our list, with a combined fortune of $582 billion, could afford to own a staggering 6 percent of the total U.S. home equity,” Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson said.
That’s staggering, especially when you consider that many Americans can’t afford a home of their own.
I live in Tiny Town, USA – population 9,620 – so you wouldn’t need to have billionaire purchasing power to buy our town. How about you? What billionaire could purchase your city? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.